Recast, Trademark, Copyright

July 19, 2013 18:21 pm · 11 comments

by ResinMuse

This was posted publicly on Grace’s website. Since she did not blur out her name, I will assume she was ok with people seeing her name.

Grace has contacted an attorney for their opinion on Recast BJD.

I don’t have much to say about this, but may add more later as I get feedback from others. I really have no desire to keep dragging on the drama between recast and legit. I own both, and many people I know own both. We are happy to be minor collectors and just enjoy our dolls. But, for the peace of mind of some of our members and followers, we feel it’s necessary to rebut some anti-recast claims.

Please note, the attorney starts the letter off by saying Grace contacted them for their opinion. This does not mean she has hired an attorney, nor does it mean this attorney will be able to do anything in regards to recast bjd.

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Let’s look at another really key point:

It is important to provide the facts, assuming of course, you want accurate opinion. It seems Grace may have wasted her +/-$500 to receive a letter that is based on misinformation – skewing the facts does nothing to help your cause.

Most, not all certainly, but most ball-jointed dolls do not have any company trademarks on the doll. A doll’s sculpt name is not a trademark.  An “R” on the right leg isn’t a trademark-able mark.

Let’s stress this again:

Matthew’s letter states his opinion is based on the knowledge that bjd have a TRADEMARK on them.  This information he based his opinion on is false.  MOST bjd do not have any company marks – a sculpt name is not a trademark.

What is a trademark – here are some examples: International Trademark Association Fact Sheets Introduction to Trademarks

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Right from the beginning, the attorney reiterates:

“You have also informed us that the copies of the ball-jointed dolls do include trademark of the legitimate dolls.”

If (most of) the original dolls do not contain any trademark (names of the sculpt are not trademarks), then it stands to reason, the copies won’t contain any trademarks either.

It appears the attorney is reiterating again under the heading “Background“, by saying (paraphrasing here) ‘people in the U.S. are commissioning the recasters to make other dolls and that we are distributing the dolls once they’re in the U.S.’.

On Commissions: As our members know, we have stopped all group orders that were being organized for recasters to purchase new dolls. This may have been an issue last year, but we have long since discouraged anyone paying, buying or sending any dolls to recasters. All we do is order dolls for our own enjoyment.

On Distribution: We do not and never have, distributed recast bjd dolls. People buy them on their own, and the doll is shipped to the person buying. There are NO/none/zero U.S. distributors or sellers for recast dolls. And to my knowledge, as long as I’ve been a support for recast, there never have been.

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On Works of Art:

Are BJDS Works of Art?
Many BJDs are beautifully sculpted and considered “works of art” by those who create them and many who collect them. But for those of us who: 1. live in the USA, 2. are ordering them from other countries and 3. having them shipped to us… they are not (according to US Customs and Border Protection) considered “works of art”.

According to Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Chapter 97 of the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (HTSUS), BJDs fail to meet the specifications necessary to be considered “works of art”.

(pages 9-11 of the pdf document)
For a BJD to be considered a “work of art” they must:
be made by a sculptor [which is defined as: a graduate of a course in sculpture at a recognized school of art (free fine art, not industrial art) or that he be recognized in art circles as a professional sculptor by the acceptance of his work in public exhibitions limited to the free fine arts.]
be a limited edition of no more than 12 castings, replicas or reproductions.
NOT be mass-produced reproductions or works of conventional craftsmanship of a commercial character, even if these articles are designed or created by artists.
In the document referenced above there is also an explanation and example of the rule of 12 provided.
“The limit of sculptures that we allow under heading 9703 in an edition is 12. The reason 12 is used (previously 10) is that fine art is normally very limited. If an artist such as Edgar Degas creates 15 of a particular sculpture only the first 12 or cast numbers 1 through 12 will be allowed in duty free. When an artist such as Salvadore Dali produces more than 50 in an edition, it is no longer fine art and none will be allowed duty free.”

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All in all.. it seems a pricey letter to not give the facts and to skew the opinion in your direction. Even though some anti-recast people seem to think we’re stupid and immoral, we actually have taken the time to do our own research – and we were more willing to look at both sides. It really comes down to ‘he said, she said’.. except, within the law.. there are sections that support in favor of legit company dolls – others that show our recast bjd are not in danger of being considered counterfeit. We’re not looking to do battle with anti-recast, but we’ll continue to stand our ground.

So, Recast BJD Friends.. enjoy your dolls.  That’s what really matters.  Your doll hobby is suppose to be fun, enjoyable.. so ignore all the drama people want to stir up.. need a place to share your dolls?  Come see us at Recast BJD Haven on Facebook – we’re a friendly group and we allow recast bjd and legit bjd.

If you would like to print out, save, for later or easier reading, here is the full document posted to Grace’s website.

Anti-recast claims about recast being illegal are just conjecture.  It is our belief that a judge would actually need to make a stand on this, and if they can’t stop counterfeit bags, how are they doing to stop an even grayer, and much, much smaller, area of recast bjd?  I still hold to my opinion, our recast dolls are not illegal.  Some may be – for example, ones being sold as legit – but the recast dolls we have shared information about, are not passed off as originals, we are informed from the source they are copies, and we’re all fine to own our copies.



Sorry, Opinions and Conjectures do not make recast bjd illegal.


For those of you who don’t know what a trademark is, it is a word or phrase (not in common usage), business name, title, logo or so on that is used to protect a brand. A copyright is meant to protect intellectual property including but not limited to writing, music and visual art.

Difference Between Recast and Company BJD

March 11, 2013 0:36 am · 0 comments

by ResinMuse

I sent the following to an email group a few weeks ago, in order to give some suggestions on how to tell a recast from a legit. There are certainly ways around some of these things, and this isn’t a full list of ‘how to tell’ nor is it a certainty if you have any of these things, that your doll is a recast.

Typically there are small details that will be a clue-in. This does not apply to all recast companies, but generally the insides of the doll will be very ‘rough’, in that it’s not usually sanded very nicely.. and may still contain some flashing – possibly on the outside of the doll (between fingers or toes, in eyes – this can happen with a company doll too, but you’re probably less likely to see it.

Usually the recast dolls are a bit smaller than company dolls (referred to as “shrinkage”).

Some may not have the magnets in the correct spot – for example a couple recast companies don’t remove the magnets from a littlefee body (in the back) before casting, so those spots for magnets will be filled in with resin. This does *not* apply to all recast dolls.

Some dolls will have very thin spots in areas, some prone to easy breakage.

Some dolls may be strung very oddly.. and there are varying ways this is done. Littlefee and pukifee are strung in a traditional way, not the way Fairyland puts them together (3 different stringings). While other dolls maybe have a U-hook or eye-hook and the elastic might be strung directly through the loop, rather than attached with an S hook (so restringing might require elastic being cut to get the doll apart).

It’s also good to know that not all dolls are recast. I recently saw a forum where concern was high for a little choco puki sugar.. but no recasters, to my knowledge, have a sugar pukipuki. So, if you’re concerned about a specific doll, you can inquire about recast options for that doll. In the choco puki concern, the new owner was able to trace the doll back to the original owner and pics verifying she was, in fact, legit.

Regarding Buying/Selling:

Another thing, when you are buying from the second hand market, don’t buy any that seem suspect. Doll boxes, and pillows are not part of the replication process (yet anyway).. ASK for history on the doll.

When I sell a doll, I keep the receipt of purchase and I always keep the boxes they come in… Anyone buying a doll from me can verify from the company or from an agent. SO, keep your doll history, don’t throw it away thinking it’s not a big deal. It is, or can be.

You can also take a video or photo set of the doll opening, from the company shipping box, the doll box and the unwrapping. The more you document your company doll, the better protected you are in the case of reselling.

In regards to keeping paperwork. Some recasters are making certificates for some dolls, as well as the metal plate that comes on some dolls. And, unfortunately, not all companies provide COA. My doll chateau doll did not, none of the fairyland I’ve owned have ever come with one. There are other dolls I’ve owned that didn’t have one either. I think some people assume all doll companies provide these and they do not.

Something I’ve been informed of recently, recast dolls containing the metal company head plate are the ones that are considered counterfeit and fall under China’s copyright laws. Dolls without the metal name plate or are otherwise unsigned, are considered knock-offs and are legal.

Do you have other information on detecting a Recast from a Company doll? The more we all know, the less likely we are to see recast dolls being passed off as company doll. None of us want to see this happening (and in our recast communities, it’s an automatic Banning).

What is a Recast BJD?

July 29, 2012
Recast?  Resin Comparison

The ball-jointed doll hobby of much to learn.  Not only do you have to learn what all the sizes mean, but also company to company… and even within a size range, the sizing can differ. So, it’s not surprising that adding Recast to the mix can leave many scratching their heads. A recast resin bjd is […]

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